Modern - F-104

Modern - F-104

The F-104's razor honed appearance provides a natural invitation for descriptive superlatives. Precisely engineered, the Starfighter's shape is functional - aesthetics notwithstanding. It's built to go! To go high, fast and far with varied offensive payloads.

It started in 1952, when the U.S Air Force called for a daylight air superiority fighter subordinating other criteria to flight performance. Lockheed looked at scores of designs: delta wings, swept wings, flush cockpits, wingtip-mounted vertical fins, rocket propulsion, low mounted horizontal stabilizer, vee windshields.

Weight went up to about 50.000 pounds, dropped as low as 8.000 pounds. Out of the design, wind tunnel and rocket flight studies came a new wing shape; the trapezoid. Its span - 7 ? feet on each side of the fuselage - was startling enough. Added to the break from conventional aerodynamics trends was a notable anhedral applied to the wing.